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Hydrosol takes giant step into plant-based ingredients

The plant-based food trend is an over-arching movement around the world – and now Germany’s Hydrosol has taken a massive step to serve this market with the launch of a new company, Planteneers – The Plant Based Pioneers.

The “plant-based revolution” is not just one of the dominant international food trends, it is also a very apt description of the development of Hydrosol, part of the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe.

A specialist in stabilising and texturing systems, within just a few years the company has grown to become one of the key players in the burgeoning market for plant-based alternatives. Its product portfolio has expanded enormously, and last year this expertise was bundled in the newly founded Plant Based Competence Center.

Now comes the next step. Hydrosol’s unit for plant-based has become an autonomous company, and as of 28 September, Planteneers – The Plant Based Pioneers – are the experts for plant-based alternatives within the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe. This new subsidiary builds on the success of Hydrosol, and is likewise under the leadership of Managing Director Dr Matthias Moser.

Torsten Wywiol, CEO of the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe, and Dr Matthias Moser., MD of Hydrosol and Planteneer.

Growth for both Hydrosol and Planteneers

“We intend to continue to grow with both companies,” emphasises Torsten Wywiol, CEO of the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe. “With that in mind, it will be important to focus on each of their strengths, and further build on them for both brands with the appropriate strategies in each case.

“That’s the reason we separated the plant-based field out of Hydrosol. To put it differently, our former ‘plant-based baby’ has grown up and is ready to strike out on its own. We’re bundling its capabilities in a dedicated company. We are developing attractive solutions and making an important contribution to this fast-growing market. It is our clear objective to establish this newest subsidiary successfully on the international market.”

The conditions could not be more promising:

  • According to AT Kearney, through to 2040 worldwide, revenue from plant-based alternatives to meat products will more than triple to $450-billion.
  • For alternative dairy products, Future Market Insights predicts a doubling of the market volume through 2029 to around $34.6-billion.
  • Plant-based is also rapidly becoming a new normal in out-of-home eating.
  • Issues like environmental protection and animal welfare, as well as health, are currently the main drivers for consumer purchases of plant-based alternatives, and the growing world population is bringing a new dynamic to the field.

The category of plant-based solutions for alternative forms of nutrition has already attained remarkable scale. But it still offers significant further growth opportunities, which we can make much better use of with a dedicated company and a focused strategy,” says Hydrosol’s Dr Moser:

“We’re positioning Planteneers as a cornerstone within the group. It is our clear commitment to this rapidly expanding category.”

“Through intensive research, creative ideas and tireless pioneering spirit, at Planteneers we intend to play an active role in shaping the future of the industry,” he adds. “We’re definitely moving beyond just stabilising and texturising. At Planteneers we’re concentrating on the development of trend product concepts in the growth categories: alternatives to meat, sausage and fish products, dairy products and deli foods, as well as hybrid products.”

And Hydrosol?

The company will continue to apply its proven innovative strength to its core business – the stabilisation and texturing of trend products for the dairy, meat and deli foods industry, an important area as the worldwide food industry pays more and more attention to texture in foods. This is particularly the case for categories like free from, clean label and lean label, which continue to see steadily rising demand, asserts Dr Moser.

He adds that Hydrosol’s expertise in stabilising and texturing naturally benefits its new sister company: “Close communication between the technologists of both companies ensures that plant-based desserts have the desirable creamy texture and meat alternatives feature the familiar meaty bite.

“Through collaboration with the other Stern-Wywiol Gruppe subsidiaries, Planteneers can offer customers attractive system solutions from a single source, from stabilising and texturing to flavouring and fortification.”

See more at

Hydrosol/Planteneers is represented in South Africa by Foodspec:

About Planteneers:

Planteneers GmbH, headquartered in Ahrensburg, develops and produces individual system solutions for plant-based alternatives to meat, sausage and fish products, as well as cheese, dairy products and deli foods.

As a member of the independent, owner-operated Stern-Wywiol Gruppe with a total of twelve sister companies, Planteneers makes use of many synergies. The company has access to the knowledge of some 100 R&D specialists and the extensive applications technology of the large Stern-Technology Center in Ahrensburg, Germany. As part of the Technology Center, the Plant Based Competence Center founded in 2019 is the creative pool for alternative solutions and the heart of Planteneers.

Customers benefit further from the Group’s international network of 17 affiliates and numerous qualified foreign representatives in the key markets. The Group also has shared production facilities and logistics resources. With revenues exceeding €500-million and some 1 700 employees worldwide, the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe is one of the world’s most successful international suppliers of food & feed ingredients.

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